Ahiru no Sora – Episode 39

I’ll be honest, as excited as I was for the Maru vs Taiei match, this episode took me a while to get into. As a whole, there were a lot of little things that I thoroughly enjoyed… but this match didn’t bring me that same investment and enjoyment that we got in the Shinjo match. BUT in all fairness, as Maru High isn’t exactly the focus of the story, it’s understandable that they would have only given us one episode. Would I have liked a little more? Absolutely! But if anything, I’m really looking forward to the final match of the anime.

I think it was pretty interesting to have the episode start out with a conversation with Nabe and Mokichi since they are two characters that don’t typically interact with one another (especially Nabe as he always seems to be paired up with someone else). It was a nice scene where Nabe could express his feelings about his place in the team and show that he’s serious about improving himself on the court. It was also nice to hear Mokichi’s thoughts as to what kind of player he’d have on the court. But despite it being a nice interaction… it still felt a little out of place. It was good conversation, but then we immediately jump over to the ongoing match and never hear from these two for the remainder of the episode. If anything, at the end of the episode it shows that practically everyone except those two (and Yasu and Chucky) decided to scope out the team the would be playing against soon.

As for the match itself, I wasn’t as invested in it as I was hoping to be – it was cool that we got to get a little bit of background for Shiraishi and can’t wait for more, but I just didn’t have the character buy in for it. Chiba and Tokiwa are pretty cool characters and I loved that our aces got to go up against one another, but because of the pacing of the match everything was very rushed. Of course, it still sets up Taiei as a real force to beat, but you know what? Kuzu High still takes the cake for inspiration, they’re the true underdogs and I cannot help but cheer for them! But I will admit that I liked the idea of “If you wanna win, go get the points yourself” regarding the other team. I liked how it was used to frame Shiraishi and his resolve to improve at the game, but! it also highlights the point that was brought up about Taiei not being the best at playing as a team. Individually, yeah! They’re all fantastic and skilled players, but as a collective? Well, I have a feeling we’ll see a little bit of a team breakdown once the they take on Kuzu.

I think what I enjoyed the most about the episode are the post-match moments. It was heartbreaking to see Chiba so defeated, but it was heartwarming to 1) see him get scouted and 2) see Takahashi & Kojima intercept the recruitment. It managed to turn things around in a positive direction and honestly? I love the idea that Takahashi & Kojima are a duo determined to set up a team wherever they go, and I support them (and Chiba if he decides to follow them! “Let’s start a revolution together”, I support you!). I genuinely expected Chiba to end up in a state similar to Taro after this match, but I’m glad they could swoop in and bring some joy. I also really enjoyed Momoharu following Sora and Nao after the match primarily because of Sora’s thoughts on all his teammates. If anything, it makes me excited for this final match.

So overall, while I thought this episode was a bit rough, I am looking forward to what will come. I think there’s still potential as we head into the final match and I can’t wait to see what they will bring.

Quietcupcake

I live up to my username, but I hope we can be friends!

2 thoughts on “Ahiru no Sora – Episode 39

  1. Have you ever been in that situation where you get in a car with a bad driver while knowing that he’s a bad driver and so already knowing that it will be a nightmare? Well, if you did, you would know how I felt. Funny (sad) real story, I am part of that minority who knows nothing at all about driving and same goes for animation as even a straight line comes out ugly within my hands. But, there are things which do not require an expert to judge them.

    Sorry for that maybe off-topic introduction but that is because that episode is probably (scratch that, certainly) the worst episode so far. And I should say that I am happy with your summary because I was starting to feel that being a manga reader (and absolute fan), I was living on another planet when I was reading comments of some anime only people. So, you are telling me that you found weird that “wonderful” Nabe/Mokichi interaction? Well, guess what? Something which should be familiar now to you is the culprit: Mr storyboard butcher! Ah yeah, I forgot to give our now weekly page count. Well, we have a new record! 106 pages in one episode! (reminder, it was 45 only last week and 96 pages two weeks ago, and 60 pages was the average number for a looooong period).

    Therefore, of course, things have been cut. So, Mokichi does not miraculously appear. In the manga, it starts with him coming to school seeing his ex-supervisor (chemistry club). Then, when he was leaving, he heard people playing basket-ball in the gym of the school and they were…Yasu/Chucky/Nabe. Then after talking very briefly, Mokichi is leaving and there comes Nabe chasing him for asking him what could be his role. I mean, I knew that they would have cut that part (I even thought that they cancel it totally) but it was so random…but actually there is also a transition that we are supposed to understand. Mokichi tells Nabe about an outside player/shooter and we shift toward a play made by one (the bald guy of ShinMaruko). Actually, there is a joke in the manga as after everything is over (the game, Sora comments, etc.), we see that Mokichi got trapped with the trio as they “obliged” him to stay watching them play.

    Regarding that game, what can I say. You said almost everything and of course guessed right (especially when I tell you that there was 106 pages). Many things have been cut and they kept essentially part where Kuzuryu spectator/players were involved in order to make a parallel. But it was such a rush nightmare that even that part was messy. And of course, not having known Chiba/Tokiwa for long does not help if you increase their relative “irrelevance” (which is absolutely NOT the case) by speed-racing. I mean, the duel Tokiwa-Shiraishi is so intense in the manga that seeing what they did… And I prefer to not comment about that wonderful “animation”.

    And the silliest artistic choice to make Tokiwa and not Chiba tells that quote about “self excuses” is nonsensical. I mean, in the manga it is not mentioned who’s saying that but it makes 100% sense that these are Chiba interior words as he’s the one who made a “captain poker face speech” to hide his pain just before. And there were so many after-game self-comments/criticisms made by Taiei people…

    Honestly, I am not even waiting anymore that Taiei-Kuzuryu game because I already know that it will be awful. Since the beginning, I was afraid by the fact that it was not 52 episodes. And as you know, I was repeating that their rhythm was strange and I was afraid. Well, here we are. Sorry if I am flirting with spoil but that game is long, very long, even the longest so far in the manga (yeah even compared to eventual next games). And when I see that it will probably not even start soon…

    But I will give them a positive point! I was extremely positively surprised that they kept the “Chiba university” part. I was ready to bet my hand that they would have ditched that.

  2. It bums me out that they feel that they have to cram things into episodes! And quite frankly once an episode is over, part of me wonders why they opted to keep certain things while removing others. For this episode, I felt that way with the Mokichi and Nabe scene because they have very little interaction with each other, but hearing what they cut out makes me frustrated to the point where I have to question why they thought /those/ particular scenes still needed to be in there for relevance. Perhaps it’ll help make connections in the future episodes… but I may be getting my hopes up for that too.

    But wow! 106 pages? Honestly, that makes me happy to hear, not because of how it was presented in the anime, but because it lets me know that there was so much content that would have been left out. It’s making me very excited to pick up the manga once the anime is finished. The who Maruko v Taiei has not sat super well with me, probably because my expectations are still pretty high, but as you said we haven’t spent enough time with Chiba and Tokiwa to really get the impact that I think the anime was going for – I was routing for them strictly because we’ve faced them before, but we really haven’t spent enough time getting the development they deserve.

    I really hope that the remaining episodes come together a bit more smoothly, but I am incredibly worried for what shortcuts they will take. But hopefully, they’ll find a decent flow for what they do decide to keep. And yeah, I won’t even touch on the topic of animation, but sometimes they make it hard not to talk about.

    But I’m happy that they included the Chiba University bit! It gave us a happy closure to the match and even though he doesn’t get to move on, there’s still something to look forward too!

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